4 Access Partners

Our Process

Our Process for Helping Entrepreneurs

We’re focused on four areas, which we’ve targeted based on our clients’ most pressing, unaddressed needs. First, 4 Access Partners offers clients world-class expertise from some of the country’s finest, most successful food companies. Additionally, we offer group and individual training for entrepreneurs, as well as training for employees who are interested in obtaining an entry-level job in the food manufacturing industry. Our clients are also offered access to financial institutions willing to provide capital and companies that can help scale their business. 

4 Access Partners has developed a unique system to measure our clients’ growth and success. Our entrepreneurs progress through four stages, known as the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels. We use several metrics to determine when an entrepreneur is prepared to advance to the next stage, including sales revenue, appropriate funding, and the strength of their business strategy. The support we offer is designed to be appropriate for each client’s needs at every level within this system. In addition, we seek a personal connection and intend to create enduring relationships.

How does 4 Access Partners help fledgling entrepreneurs grow into full-scale, successful business owners? By focusing on the four access points that are most beneficial to our clients, we are able to streamline the process of information transfer. We encourage our clients to establish a timeline appropriate for them and we aid them in making the right choices for their business to maximize the chances of long-term success.

Access to Expertise

One of the most important components of our mission is connecting clients with our expert volunteers. We match volunteers with the promising women and/or BIPOC food entrepreneurs who could benefit most from their expertise. Our volunteers offer ongoing support throughout the process, including during our clients’ “graduation” from our program. Learn More →

Access to Training

Our 4 AP Training Programs have two pillars. Both take the wealth of Food Industry “content” we have and apply it to change LIVES. The first is aimed at Entrepreneurs. Running a successful food production company requires a steep learning curve. Our volunteers help women and BIPOC food entrepreneurs navigate the hurdles of business ownership with hands-on training. We do that both in “cohorts” and via “targeted individual training.” Learn More →

Access to Capital

Attaining reliable access to capital is a common setback for many food entrepreneurs. While we do not provide funding, 4 Access Partners has built relationships with several financial institutions, such as community banks, foundations, government groups, and private investors. These capital providers grant our entrepreneurial clients access to the capital they need to progress through the different stages of our program. We believe if an entrepreneur has access to expertise and access to capital they are a leg up. An “idea with no access to capital doesn’t get implemented.” Similarly, “access to capital with no idea doesn’t work.” We are committed to and are grateful for the financial partnerships we have built. Learn More →

Access to Scale

4 Access Partners’ relationships with scale partners allows clients the opportunity to scale their business from commercial kitchen to retail. This work begins by identifying gaps in the current production and manufacturing process. We then provide the advice and creative solutions necessary to close those gaps and achieve long-term scalability. It can be a significant leap from commercial kitchen to Contract Manufacturing and beyond. We help our clients bridge that gap. Learn More →

How We Measure Success

We seek enduring relationships and strive to support our clients through every step of their journey.

Quantifying success is critical when working with food entrepreneurs and start-ups. We have established a 4-tiered system for tracking the stages of growth: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each level of success comes with its own unique curriculum, hurdles, and rewards. We maintain our relationships with clients until their eventual “graduation” from our program. Some of the metrics in place to measure our clients’ success include:

  • Defined Consumer/Customer Understanding and Targets
  • Preliminary  Business Strategy/Plan
  • Sales Revenue
  • Brand Establishment and Loyalty
  • Depth and Breadth of Retail Penetration
  • Appropriate Staffing to Support Growth
  • Appropriately Funded and Capitalized
  • Access to Capital

Each of 4 Access Partners’ clients will have a different experience, but categorizing these experiences into four stages allows us to provide targeted support and may increase the speed at which the client advances their business. Our process doesn’t work without the support of our partners. If you would like to join 4 Access Partners in uplifting underrepresented members of your local community, contact us to connect.